Class definitions - what is expected for each? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-14-2012, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Class definitions - what is expected for each?

I am considering entering a show with hunter classes. I've never done hunters but want to give it a go. These are all the very lowest level, beginner classes. Can anyone give me an idea of what they may consist of?

Equitation - ok this one I'm pretty sure is judged on my position, etc..


Hunter Hack Equitation

Poles on the Ground - ok I know the poles are on the ground, but do I trot them in a two point or just posting?

I'd just like to know what I may be expected to do in each class so I can be somewhat prepared.

And are all classes done in rounds? I'm not familiar with how that works at all.

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post #2 of 7 Old 08-14-2012, 11:01 AM
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This is th easiest way to explain without giving you 10 pages of info:

Equitation - Judged soley on the rider. Having a horse that goes nicely is a bonus because a smooth horse will make you look a lot nicer and like your not asking for too much. You want to have very subtle cues and keep your heels down, hands up by the withers with your thumbs SLIGHTY angled towards eachother with eyes and chin up. You will be asked a variety of things. walk/ trot/ canter/ sitting trot/ halt ( from walk, trot or canter ), Change direction and this is not done by going across the diagonal/ you may be asked to change direction at a halt and thats when you do a turn on the haunches OR forehand. You may be asked for collection, extention or counter canter ( not cantering on the wrong lead ) . But maybe not at a low level show. And you want to make sure you have right leads, diagonals and look effortless and smooth.


Hunter Hack Equitation - is not judged on the judges the horse in two ways - first on the flat at a walk, trot and canter (may also include a hand gallop, or extensions or collections of the trot) . The second portion of the class is judged individually - each horse/rider rides over a simple pattern. Horses are judged on their way of going, the way they jump, taking the proper leads, prompt response to cues, good attitude, proper headset, etc. Most Hunter hack classes have only two jumps, typical height is 2 feet to 2 1/2 feet.

Poles on the Ground - I have never heard of this before. Many shows come up with their own type of classes. I would assume thought it is a class for beginner riders who want to get a somewhat jumping experiance?? Even though poles are not jumping at all.... Umm.. Hmm... I would guess you do a pattern over poles.

You should check out the shows specific set of rules, look at them to see what type of bits are allowed, whether martingales, boots, crops, etc are allowed. They may also have a description of the classes for you too
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-14-2012, 11:48 AM
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Hmm, I've never heard of Hunter Hack Equitation... Seems kind of contradictory to me to say "hunter" and "equitation" in the same class as hunter refers to the horse and equitation is the rider... But if this is a low-key show the equitation will likely just be a standard w/t/c hack and they may ask for a sit trot. The only time I've ever had a judge ask for more than that in an eq class was is it was very close and they needed something else to judge to decide the winner. (For example, my show last weekend we were asked to change direction at the canter and halt.) Horsemanship I'm not sure of. And for the poles I guess it's just like a jump "course" around in a circle. I've seen that for mini short stirrup and such for kids who aren't really ready to jump yet but want to practice a course in a show environment.

Worth The Wait <3
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-14-2012, 09:37 PM
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Horsemanship is usually used to refer to western equitation...I'm not sure what an english show would use it for.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-17-2012, 10:16 AM
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I'm a hunter rider - like, real hunters (not the quarter horse version of hunters)

You're correct about equitation (judges the rider). Just W/T/C in both directions, and the judge will usually throw in a sitting trot or a halt or a 2-point, etc.

Horsemanship - we don't have this class in hunters, so idk what it is.

Hunter Hack Equitation - this is not a normal class in hunters either. Hunter Hack would suggest the horse is judged, but eq suggests the rider is judged, so what the heck is it? But my guess is it's W/T/C in both directions similar to the eq class.

Poles on the Ground - ground poles are trotted, and you should get up into your 2-point position a couple steps before the pole and stay in your 2-point til the horse has gone all the way over the pole. Then resume your posting trot until you get to the next pole and repeat. Aim for the center of the pole and go all the way to the end of the arena after the line of poles (ie, don't cut the corners)
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-21-2012, 02:11 PM
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Hunter Hack Equitation -
This is a new one on me.
A hunter hack class is a Walk, trot and canter each way of the ring. The judge for a Hunter Hack class is permitted to ask competitors to jump 2 jumps under so-many-feet high to show obedience. So I would guess the class may require competitors to jump 2 fences.

I recommend you contact the show secretary and inquire regarding the specifications for the classes.

I host Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Show Clinics and we have an equitation over poles class. Before the class begins the judge makes it perfectly clear the requirements are - trotting only, with release over each pole. Getting left behind, laying on the horses neck are marked down. Please contact the show organizer before or on the day of so you can understand the requirements.

It is very nice to know there are so many people interested in developing their show ring experience!

Thank you for taking the time to write a post and be active in this forum. Please visit me at Thistle Ridge Stables. I'd love to hear from you!
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-03-2012, 09:56 PM
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I can tell this is a lower level show, from the names of classes ... Anyway, I've collected lots of info from riding the Mules, along with being in the Hunter world ... so I'll give it a go. I'll fill in the blanks. -

Hunter Hack Eq. -
This is actually a very common class with the Mules, though the name is very contradictory. The class is actually a jumping course-
You jump over 8 jumps. There must be at least 4 seperate obstacles, that can be jumped twice in the oposite directions. The horse is judged if the class is just 'Hunter Hack,' but in 'Hunter Hack Eq,' the rider is judged. So in this case, you are being judged. The jumps can be a maximum of 2'9", and can be as low as the show permits, in 3" incrimints.

Poles on the Ground -
Just a course consisting of poles. There is usually also a crossrail class that is much like this one. Usually, there are 2 outside lines of 2 poles, and you lap around them twice. You post all the way up to the pole, then two-point over it as if it were a jump.

Horsemanship -
This is typically used in Western. But based on what we do in Western, I'll just flip it. We always called this English Equitation, but it is pretty much the same thing as Horsemanship- just in a English saddle. It is simply a pattern class. Start at A, trot to B, left lead canter circle back to B, straight to C, halt. Very easy class. Always fun for me :)

Most of these came from the Mules, besides Poles :)

Hope I could help :) Thanks!

~ When I Die, Remember Me By My Horses ~
* Because They Are Responsible *
.: For Letting Me Live :. (c) xJumperx

Last edited by xJumperx; 09-03-2012 at 10:00 PM.
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